Crisp Co. deputy fired after trespassing, hunting deer at night -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crisp Co. deputy fired after trespassing, hunting deer at night


A deputy with four years of service at the Crisp County Sheriff's Office was arrested, and then dismissed Saturday, after he was caught violating several Georgia deer hunting laws.

David Smith faces several misdemeanor charges, including hunting under the influence, hunting at night, trespassing, hunting from a motor vehicle, and hunting from a roadway.

Sheriff Billy Hancock said, "We realize that we are held to a higher standard because of the job we have and the oath that we take and we're going to stand up to that standard that they hold us to."

According to a report, a land owner called the sheriff's office and reported that someone was hunting on his land off of Lebanon Church Road, in the southern part of Crisp County.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources came out to investigate. Agents found Smith lying on the ground and wearing camouflage. A deer carcass was found nearby.

Holly Butterworth was also taken into custody, and faces several related charges.

Sheriff Billy Hancock issued this release Monday morning:

A Crisp County Sheriff's Deputy was arrested on January 3rd, according to Sheriff Billy Hancock. David Smith was arrested after a citizen reported trespassers on his property. A farmer located in the south part of Crisp County called the Sheriff's Office when the property owner saw unknown subject or subjects on his property. 

At the time of the call, the suspect's identity was not known. Sheriff Hancock advised that his deputies called the Department of Natural Resources to respond because of the likely hood that the call involved night hunters.

David Smith is charged with hunting deer at night, hunting under the influence of alcohol, hunting from a public road, hunting from a motor vehicle and hunting without permission. Smith's employment with the Sheriff's Office has been terminated. Sheriff Hancock stated Smith was a good deputy and had performed his duties according to policy. He was dependable and was a hard worker. “I am surprised and disappointed by his actions.”

DNR responded and, with the use of a K-9, located Smith lying in the field. Smith was dressed in a camouflage suit designed for making it difficult to see him in the dark. After Smith was taken into custody, Rangers located a deer that had been shot in close proximity of where Smith was located.

Smith had been with the Sheriff's Office for four years. Sheriff Hancock says that it is unfortunate that this incident occurred but states there is no place in law enforcement for those who do not obey the laws they are sworn to uphold.

Also charged in this incident was Holly Butterworth, 34 years old, of Cordele, GA. Her charges include hunting deer at night, hunting from a public road, hunting from a motor vehicle and hunting without permission. This case remains under investigation by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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